Finn Waters was the new kid in school... again. He was 13 and in the seventh grade. At this point he had been in 13 schools in the last 6 years, and he wasn’t sure how many times his family had moved before then.
Finn couldn’t remember his mother, but he liked his step-mother and step-sister fine. His father and step-mother had been married the last 10 years and his step-sister was 9. Finn’s father, Rip, was in the Navy, Finn’s step-mother, Cara, was a nurse, and his step-sister, Bekka, was in the 4th grade.
They had lived in several of the states: California, Texas, Hawaii, Florida, and North Carolina. Now they had moved to South Carolina. In truth Finn was sick of moving.
Finn stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. The 5′8” brunette with blue eyes looked back at him. He ran some cold water onto his hands, and then splashed his face. He berated himself, “Come on! Get a grip! You’ve done this before, you can do it again.”
Suddenly with a crash and yell Finn landed on the floor. He wasn’t sure what happened. One minute he was staring at his reflection, and the next he was on the floor. He could hear steps on the staircase. It would likely be his dad to check on him. He went to push himself off the floor but could not get his feet to cooperate. He looked down to see what the matter was and yelled. He heard the steps gain momentum. He looked at the door. He’d forgotten to lock it. He couldn’t let anyone, especially his dad, see him this way, but there was no way to hide the freakiest occurrence in his short life. From his waist down he had a fish tail. He had heard of mermaids, but they weren’t real. Right? The tail staring him in the face told him different. He heard the door handle turn. He had to brace himself for his dad’s reaction. The door swung open and Rip Waters gawked at his son. Footsteps came to the bottom of the staircase. Cara called up, “Everything okay up there Rip?”
Rip called down, “Yeah honey! It’s only a spider. I’ll take care of it,” and he entered the bathroom and closed and locked the door.
Finn was taken aback as he watched his father grab a towel and begin to dry him off. Rip was muttering to himself, “No, not now! Why’d it have to be now?”
Finn put a hand on his father’s arm. Rip looked in his son’s eyes. Finn asked, “What’s going on Dad?”
Rip patted Finn’s shoulder, “There’s so much we need to talk about Finn. We don’t have time to discuss it right now.”
“Well maybe we should make time to talk about it.”
Rip looked at his son sympathetically, “Dry yourself off some more and you should turn back, then get in bed. I’ll be back up shortly.”
Finn couldn’t believe how cool his father was being about this. He heard his father tell his step-mother, “Finn’s not feeling well at all. He was vomiting and running temp. I’m going to stay out with him and get him feeling better.”
“Okay hon,” Cara remarked.
Finn finished toweling himself dry, and as suddenly as the tail appeared, it disappeared. Finn walked back into his room and sat on his bed. A little while later his father entered the room carrying a small box. Rip sat next to his son. “Dad... what’s going on?”
“Finn, you have to understand. I wasn’t sure it would happen to you. Now that it has...”
“Dad, please talk to me.”
“Finn when I met your mother, Marinna, it was love at first sight.” Saying the words reminded Rip of the depth of their attraction.
“I was stationed in Hawaii 14 years ago. I was out fishing, it was getting dark. I tried to head back, but ended up capsizing.” Finn noticed how Rip shook his head as he relived that moment.
“Now I’m a strong swimmer, but I seemed caught. I struggled to stay afloat. Soon I could feel arms around me.”
“My mother!” Finn interjected.
“Yes, she carried me to nearby island. That was the first time I saw your mother. She pulled herself onto the beach. My mind was reeling with confusion. I couldn’t comprehend what my eyes were seeing. She had long brown hair and blue eyes, the color of the clearest ocean.”
Rip stared deeply into Finn’s eyes, “Like mine,” Finn smiled with satisfaction.
“When she dried off she looked like a goddess. We spent a lot of time together on that island. She helped me find my way back home. Nine months later I saw her again. I asked her question after question, but she was quiet. I asked what was wrong and that’s when I saw you for the first time.”
Finn could see Rip’s eyes were glazing over with tears as he told the story. “She was cryptic, but told me that she wanted me to raise you. She left this box and told me to give it to you after your 13th birthday.”
Rip handed the box to Finn. Finn took it in his hands and began to scrutinize it. It looked like a small treasure chest. He lifted the latch and then the lid. Inside were some papers. Finn took the papers out and realized he was looking at a letter. He looked to his dad and asked, “Have you read this Dad?”
“I’ll admit I did look at it, but read it first and then we’ll talk.”
Finn turned back to the letter and looked at the beautiful penmanship. He couldn’t believe this letter was from his mother. He began to read:
My darling son Finn,
I hope you will never read this letter, but I fear you will. If you are reading this you have reached your 13th birthday and have discovered something incredible about yourself. I am sorry to have visited this on you. I fell in love with your father, and you are the result. I love you dearly Finn, but you will be raised away from this life . With your birth I unleashed a curse on you. He hunts us relentlessly and I fear should he find out about you it will only mean pain and grief for you. I don’t know his name, but he has hunted our pod for some time. I do not know how he finds us, but he does. Beware of strangers taking too much interest in you. My son I hope to see you again someday. If my inclinations are correct I will wait for you on the island where I met your father for a week after your 13th birthday. Should you not come I will pray I did not curse you with my life. I love you Finn!